Within Bechtel Mining & Metals, the Technology Center tests and validates design alternatives and operational variants. In a recent study for a cathode relining facility for MA’ADEN Aluminium, a discrete event model (DEM) was developed to demonstrate the achievable throughput by matching resources and expected operating mode.
The initial number of stalls and stations in the building layout was based on calculation. The DEM provided the tool required to optimize the design resulting in CAPEX saving. Then the need for extra cathode shells, scrap containers and delivery units was addressed. The model covers the full cycle of a cathode shell: from stopping a cell, cooling at potroom, delivering to relining facility, undergoing all the steps of deline, repair, relining through return to potroom. Various operational patterns were tested; cell switch-off timing, cathode cooling location, cathode transfer by gantry, shift duration, work week and so on.